A couple arrive at an old hotel in the Australian Blue Mountains - a breathtakingly dramatic beauty spot in New South Wales. The building used to be a Victorian spa. Gavin has come to work on the renovations. He has brought his wife Esther who has been recovering from a mental breakdown for a holiday. Their marriage is in trouble and Gavin hopes this trip may help her calm down, finding the setting restorative.
As Gavin tears down walls he discovers rooms of contraptions once used to cure women with nervous afflictions. In doing so, he unleashes sounds and echoes which provoke his wife. However, Esther gradually becomes animated, alert, curious intent on uncovering the mystery embedded in the walls of the old mansion.
Esther is a brilliant pianist, who has avoided touching a piano. In the ballroom she discovers a piano as damaged as she is. As she noodles away on the piano, a strange tune comes to her. Esther becomes convinced that the music has something to do with the strange sounds and voices that she hears in different parts of the old building. As Gavin and his team hack away at the walls finding the inner rooms of the old spa, she discovers secrets that help her to feel more vital and to take control.
As past and present merge, Esther takes control of her life. But is she becoming saner or more unhinged?
Music Composed by Stewart D'Arrietta and performed by Carollyn Eden.
Technical production: David McCarthy and Peregrine Andrews.
Produced and Directed by Judith Kampfner.
A Corporation for Independent Media Production
31st July 2011
LOUIS NOWRA (born 12 December 1950)
. . .is an Australian writer, screenwriter and librettist, best known as one of Australia's leading playwrights.